Taylor Swift’s Latest: Reading Into “Look What You Made Me Do”
Taylor Swift’s new song is meant to make your uncomfortable. And I think that’s why a lot of people don’t like it. This song isn’t bubbly, it’s no ‘Shake It Off’ nor ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. This is the new Swift and I love it.
I think that this era is going to be about her going, “look, no matter what I do I’m going to be criticized mercilessly so, 🖕.” I also think that the ‘reputation’ era is going to be about her putting her foot down on people trying to take her down. Like haters gonna hate, hate, hate is OVER because now the haters are actively trying to take her down. I mean, personally, I totally understand the mood of this album. *Flashes back to times rolling into work with the windows down, Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation blasting through the speakers.*
Here are the things I LOVED about the lyric video.
How uncomfortable it makes you feel.
It’s creepy. It’s vengeful. I watched it at midnight and was creeped out.
It’s references to art masterpieces.
This frame, to me, is so inspired by Picasso’s Guernica. A classic stand against genocide and an anti-war mural. To me I recognized this instantly (the light, the door, the stream of light).
Rarely do paintings have sound associations with me, but Guernica makes me hear sounds. Crackling fires, burning, screaming, whooshing of high winds, death. I just mention this because it’s interesting that I make the association between an acoustic painting for me and this new music video.
Now what made me really go, holy cow, Taylor Swift and Joseph Kahn are like producing art for me when I realized how much the lyric video made me think of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Aka the single most creepy movie I have ever seen in my entire life. The abundance of sharp angles, jaggedy angles, and the color scheme.
And finally, the framed words as seen here is what made me think of silent films and in particular the classic 1920 German Expressionist film.
It’s old timey feel.
I feel like retro throw backs are classic Swift. The flickering in every frame makes the video look as if this was on a film reel. The sparse use of color makes the video feel as if each frame was colored in by hand (black and white/black and red) and the overall effect of using so few colors makes the music video fittingly dark.
The horror/thriller imagery.
‘Is someone following me?‘ nighttime drives!
Creepy forests with scary messages!!
Not to mention the song straight up starts with classic scary movie music. I don’t know what the creepy sounding instrument is throughout the song is, but I love it. It totally makes the song.
The reputation Era
What I was really hoping for the new Swift is that she became bad-ass Debbie Harry punk/rock. So far the branding is very hiphop inspired, which has me worried. I don’t like the font, but I’m sure it was cleverly selected for a reasons. Swift is a smart woman.
I think this era is going to be the one about her fighting against what I call the Hillary Clinton trap. You just need people to always paint you in a bad light for long enough and people will start not liking you not for any reason they can articulate but because they just feel like they should. The sound of your name just isn’t associated with anything good so you must not be a good person. You are untrustworthy. You are nasty. You are also a successful woman.
TAYLOR SWIFT ROCKS.
A lot of people don’t like her new single. What I don’t understand is why people are so passionate about hating on Taylor Swift.
I will always defend Taylor like one of my best friends. I believe that she’s someone who wants to believe the best in people, as opposed to the kind of people who want to believe the worst. I don’t get why someone would criticize someone for being “too clean” and would assume that means that the person must be hiding something. Suspicious people are only suspicious because they’re projecting what they would expect themselves to do in a given situation.
As someone who loves words and stories, Taylor Swift is basically my hero along with JK Rowling. Is Rowling the best author who ever lived? The thing is she doesn’t have to be the greatest writer, to me she told some captivating stories that impacted my life and that’s all that really matters. Taylor doesn’t have to be the best singer in the world to be an amazing artist. At the end she’s an amazing story teller and a wizard with words. That is who she is to me. Someone who tells amazing stories that are captivating and relatable. These two women have written stories that have given me so much comfort and happiness throughout my life.
Taylor’s music doesn’t have to be relatable to everyone. I don’t think that’s valid grounds for criticism (I’m looking at all the people who ever wrote stories like “Taylor Swift is not your best friend”) because she writes the songs for herself not for the purpose of pleasing others. Taylor talks about her life through her songs. If people don’t want to hear about her “drama” then don’t listen to her music? Change the channel, put on a different Spotify playlist. Why is this such a big deal? Nothing is new here.
And for all the critics who think she’s always playing the “victim” or that she needs to pick between being the “victim” or “villain”, um, she’s just telling a story. RELAX. This is all you people projecting on to her. No one else gets this kind of criticism. Only in stories do you have good guys and bad guys. In real life people are both depending on the point of view. Obviously she’s going to write about her coming out on top. Her songs are her stories. If your friend was going through a break-up you wouldn’t treat them like they were at fault.
I wish more people would write about how she’s an amazing business woman who is running her own empire. How many celebrities like her run their own brand like she does? Taylor is the CEO of Taylor Swift and people need to stop berating her for doing a good job.
The “look what you made me do” is a passive statement, but I don’t think it should be read as Taylor Swift giving up her agency. I think that the thing that Taylor did is create a soon to be best selling album. That’s her revenge. Look what you made me do is an ironic statement because the only one who did anything really, is Taylor.
Well done Taylor. I can’t wait for your new album.
PS. If you haven’t already make sure you sign up for her new system for rewarding fans (not scalpers) with access to tickets tswft.co/karen-93!